August 6, 2022
Thanks for sharing!
Video footage shot by the amazing Esther Edith Photography
Sunday night, January 30th, 2022 we had some family over for dinner. A few times I felt a sharp, quick pain in my cervix, almost like baby was knocking on the door to come out. My “due date” was 2/2/2022 and previously I’ve gone past 40 week mark so I was expecting to have a 41+ week pregnancy.
Right when Paul and I laid down to go to bed at 10:30 that night I started having consistent contractions. They were stronger than the usual Braxton Hicks but I was working through them easily and getting about 10-15 minutes between them so I just assumed it was early early labor. I finally fell asleep after midnight. At 2:45am I was woken up with stronger pressure, not bad, but enough to wake me up. I was having them pretty often, and started tracking them on the contraction timer app because I couldn’t tell how far apart they were, and each one at this point was waking me up.
It surprised me that they were anywhere from 7 to 5 minutes apart at the time, but the space between was going up and down and never staying consistent. They were also super manageable for me so I kept convincing myself it wasn’t labor. I was waiting for them to stay under 5 minutes apart- and they would for a while and then all of a sudden I would get a 10-15 minute break and several in a row that far apart, that’s what really tripped me up.. so I was 90% sure it would be a while and luckily a small part of me decided to have my sister come over to hang out just in case things picked up so she could keep Lively and Ellie busy.
That morning we got ready for our day and just went along our usual routine.
Like usual, we went to my midwife appointment together as a family. The midwife I think had a feeling I might be in labor but I was still pretty sure it was early early and I might have a few more days to go.
Amy offered to check me to see if there was any dilation happening, I almost wasn’t going to but at the end of the appointment I decided it wouldn’t hurt to check, and that she wouldn’t have asked if there weren’t a good chance it was real labor. It turned out I was 7cm dilated already! It was real labor!
We all started scrambling there at the midwives office! Our plan was to have a home birth and luckily that was just 10 minutes from the birthing center we were at for the appointment. We got the birth pool in the van and headed home. Our on call midwives beat us there.
When we got home around 11:30am it felt weird to be getting everything setup. It still felt too easy, I was a little worried everyone would be waiting around forever. With the birth pool being setup and all the supplies being laid out it started to feel cluttered, so I was trying to rearrange the furniture in the living room and at that point! We had our chiropractor stop by and give me a quick adjustment which I have never had done during labor before- so awesome! My thoughts couldn’t catch up with my body being in labor. The whole time my body was ahead of me, and for someone who likes to be in control I wanted it to slow down so I could get in the right frame of mind. But it was happening.
We got the pool filled up in the living room and that was so nice to get into! I had several strong contractions and they were getting closer together. Paul and our Doula were giving me counter pressure on my back and that was really nice. Eventually there was a point where I got really hot and overwhelmed and felt like I needed out of the pool. All I could think about was going and laying in my cool bed and taking a nap- I didn’t realize I was in transition and fully dilated at this point. There was no napping or taking a break anymore.
Right before getting out of the birth pool I felt ready to push but still was in denial, so I actually tried to hold back. I was still trying to gain control over my body and mentally catch up. I feel like this is where some fears and hesitations came up from Ellie’s birth stalling when I was pushing.
I got to my bed because I truly thought I could sleep a little, I was kind of confused why everyone followed me there, still assisting me and even holding my leg up during contractions. After a few pushes there I felt like I was laying upside down, so again I tried to escape and ran to the bathroom. I used the counter in the bathroom to squat while also laying my arms across it to cool off. There was such intense pressure and I felt like my water needed to break, I remember this feeling right before my water broke when Ellie was born. I said “I just feel like the water needs to break,” They reminded me not to worry about it it will happen when it needs to, and two strong contractions later my water burst on the bathroom floor and I felt such a relief after that. This is when I accepted that we were going to meet our baby that day. I had cooled off, gotten through the transition, and decided I better get back to the birth pool right away so I could have the water birth I really wanted.
Once I was in the pool it was only about ten strong pushes later (I think?) a little head popped out. I could not believe that! How did that happen so fast?! I still couldn’t wrap my head around it. I was still trying to catch up. Then another strong but steady push or two and then baby’s whole body came out into the water. It was a blur and I couldn’t remember who pulled baby out of the water, but Paul reminded me that it was me who reached down and pulled baby up out of the water and onto my chest, it was totally surreal like I just did that, that quickly?! That last 30-45 minutes wasn’t easy at all and I remember having the “I’m never doing this again” thought (I’ve had it every birth right before baby comes, did you?) but of course baby gets here and you forget the intensity of it.
I had wanted the girls to be there when their new sibling was born but we didn’t know how quick it was going to be, so they were nearby at a coffee shop with my sister getting cocoa. Because we had told Lively, our older daughter that we would wait to look to see if baby was a brother or sister, we waited to look until they got back, just a few minutes later. We were pretty sure we were having a boy, but we took a look and it was a GIRL! Our third beautiful girl. We feel so blessed with these little ones.
Welcome to the world Shiloh Kanoa. Our biggest baby yet, but somehow she felt so tiny. Born just before 3pm on January 31st, with a full, perfectly round head of dark hair. Her name means Heavenly Gift and she truly is with how our hearts had been changed about having more babies just before we found out we were pregnant with her.
Thanks for sharing!